FLORENCE, Italy – More than a month ago, a San Diegan who lived in Italy decided to stay where he was and not go home. In this Zevely Zone, I talk with filmmakers and live alone in Italy. “Good morning from San Diego.” I say talk through a computer through a Zoom meeting. “Good afternoon from Italy,” said Danielle Cohen.
When things got tough in Italy, 25-year-old native Scripps Ranch decided to stay. “Many people think I’m crazy. Some people still think I’m a bit crazy to be here,” Danielle said.
A UC Santa Barbara graduate moved to Florence in January first when the streets were filled with people since then he lost his job and his six roommates moved. “When was the last time you talked to someone in person?” I ask. Danielle told me, “At the grocery store when I left last week.”
Danielle said he was lonely, but he said he felt safer there than here. I told him, “I think you are very brave to live there alone. To think you feel safer in Italy than in America” He told me, “People thought it was a crazy statement because I said it three weeks ago but I see it moving across countries and Europe. I know it will go to America. There is no way America is freed from all this. “
Italy is totally locked. Danielle can go to the grocery store and that’s it. He sent us a video of the empty streets and police cars patrolling making announcements via loudspeakers. He said Italian police would quote people in public for non-emergencies and he was surprised the US did not enforce the same policies. “Fortunately my parents because I have filled it very well in listening and are the same as my friends, but I continue to see other people around the world who don’t listen and don’t take it seriously,” he said. I asked him, “How do you feel when you see them not taking them seriously?” He replied, “That makes me so angry.”
Danielle moved to Italy to follow his dream as a filmmaker and not only did he find the topic of the next project, he lived it. “Just looking at the dichotomy, about what happened with the reasons here in Italy and how Italy reacted and how Italy handled the situation compared to America has just become very crazy and it really inspired me to start writing during my quarantine hours.” Danielle made a short environmental documentary in 2017 called The Tipping Point.
Danielle said the streets might be empty but Italy was filled with hope and free time. Lots to do the next film and the Italian language. “Ciao Mama and Papa,” he said, sending a cry under quarantine to his parents at Scripps Ranch.
Danielle said he had not tested COVID 19. He said he felt well and had no symptoms.
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